Tuesday afternoon, February 5, an inmate at the Missoula County Jail attempted suicide by jumping off a high balcony, but was stopped by two corrections officers.

Missoula County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jason Johnson says the 51 year-old inmate had just returned from a court hearing, when he ran up the stairs to a balcony and stepped over the railing, intending to jump the 12 feet down to the concrete floor below.

Johnson says officer Steven Roney grabbed the inmate's waistband and held on as the man jumped off the balcony. Roney held on to the inmate and worked his way over to the stairs, when the inmate's weight forced Roney over the railing. He somersaulted and landed safely on his feet on the floor below.

The inmate only fell about a foot and was not injured. Another officer, Pamela Blendermann, secured the inmate and placed him in a cell. He is on suicide watch and is receiving counseling by jail staff. The inmate was arrested for failure to report as a sexual offender, and his bond had been sat at $25,000.

Officer Roney was not injured and did not require any medical attention.

Johnson says Missoula County Jail officials commended Roney for his heroic efforts to save the inmate's life.

Sheriff's spokesman Jason Johnson